Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Cake for Three!

I had to have a root canal re-done this week, which was awesome, clearly. On top of that, I found out I have to have a significant amount of work done on yet another tooth. To say the least, I was feeling pretty glum (and broke). How could I possibly cheer myself up? Pajamas and Cake!

Joe and I are headed up to Maine to spend some family time with my mom and sister for the weekend at her golf resort time share (yes I plan on golfing, laugh it up). All three of us have impending birthdays, and busy schedules, so I decided I would take the opportunity to bake a little birthday cake for the three of us.

Since I’m not nearly as experienced a cake baker as I am with cookies, I randomly googled some birthday cake recipes, and nabbed this one off of allrecipes.com.

“Moist Chocolate Cake”

1 cup margarine (I used butter)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used more like 7 Tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

First, sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside. Next bust out your cake pan, and grease/flour that bad boy.

Now to the mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar, and let the machine go for a while until it’s nice and fluffy.

Add in your eggs, one at a time. Then add in your vanilla.

Next alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, switching back and forth, until just combined.

Pour your batter into your cake pan, and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes.

Let your cake cool for a bit, then carefully transfer it to a wire rack.

Using my handy-dandy cake leveller, I levelled the top of the cake.

Then I used the same too the half the cake, for that "layered" effect.
While your cake is cooling, whip up your frosting. I decided to go with a classic butter cream frosting.

1/3 cup butter
4 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

First cream the butter for a bit on high speed. Then add in your confection sugar, and beat until combined. Add your vanilla. Then add in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is at your desired consistency.

I dyed mine a blue-ish color.
Frost your bottom layer first, completely, then stack on your top level.

I decided to add some decorative sprinkles, using a star shaped cookie cutter as a guide.

That didn’t really work out as I pictured it.

So I opted to just spread the sprinkles around and add some more for good measure. My frosting was getting pretty warm and melty in my hot kitchen, so I decided I would let it refrigerate overnight, and add my final touches before we hit the road.

Fast forward to Friday! Coors light in hand, I set out to finish my cake.

I whipped up a quick decorating frosting. Basically mix together some shortening, almond extract, and powdered sugar. I used the almond because the only vanilla extract I had was a dark brown, which would tint the color of the frosting. It actually is quite delicious. I think I might make an orange-flavored cake or cupcake and try this almond concoction on top. Yum.
Anywho, I wrote out a quick “Happy Birthday” And since there were three of us, and I was too lazy to write out all our names, I just went with first initials.

I sealed the edges off with a quick “star tip” row along the outside of the cake, top and bottom.
Perhaps not the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but I’m pretty happy with it.

Happy Baking!!!!

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